Importance of Healthy Habits of Eating
The world is heading towards virtual reality and excess materialism, so much so that we are getting distanced from real life and nature. The rising pollution levels, stress and fast-paced life has adverse effects on our health and to add fuel to the fire, continuous pressure to perform leads to skipping meals or not eating on time. All this is bad for our well being!
A healthy and balanced diet combined with a little bit of exercise can help us keep our machinery fit and smooth. Healthy eating habits provide the correct maintenance to the wear and tear inside our body and also increase the immunity level, thus making us fitter to fight against virus and bacteria etc.
Eating the Right Food in the Right Way
Food is the fuel for our body, mind and soul and ‘you become what you eat’ is not only a quote but is a very practical and scientifically proven fact. Eating the right food is the first step towards healthy eating as different types of food have their own impact on the human body and the reaction reflects in your nature and behaviour. Eating certain non-vegetarian foods, too spicy and fried foods, fast foods and carbonated drinks can negatively impact your wellbeing and mood.
Eating a healthy and balanced meal not only keeps many diseases at bay but also helps you to have a calm and composed mental state. Similarly, not skipping your breakfast and eating all the three meals of the day at a fixed time and in a peaceful state of mind is also essential. Eating at the right times and in the right frame of mind in a calm atmosphere induce metabolism, helps digest the food properly and results in providing optimum energy and essential nutrients from your meal.
Drinking Adequate Amount of Water at the Right Times
The human body is about 60% water and we constantly lose water from the body through sweat and urine, so an adequate amount of water consumption is important to maintain hydration in the body. There are different opinions about the quantity of water one must be drinking every day, but an adult human should intake an average of 2 litres of water daily. However, not more than 500 ml water should be consumed at once and one should try to sip a glass of water, instead of gulping it through. The quantity can be increased in summers or when you are working out and sweating profusely.
A glass of warm water right after you wake up in the morning cleans your body and refreshes it to start the day. Also, drinking a glass half an hour before a meal increases the metabolism, neutralizes the extra acid in your intestine and helps in weight loss. Drinking another glass after you take bath normalizes the blood pressure and one glass before you sleep ensures that you don’t dehydrate while sleeping. Never drink water right before or after a meal and try to take water at least an hour after your meal.
Healthy Habits of Eating to Adopt in 2020
Habits can’t be changed overnight and the same stays true regarding healthy habits of eating. It’s difficult to control the urge of having pizzas, burgers and other such fast foods, but you can slowly and surely decrease the frequency of eating unhealthy and junk food. Little effort every day goes a long way for inculcating good eating habits while you distance yourself from spicy, oily and fast food etc.
You can make a diet chart which can be used as a reference point for your daily eating habits and also to track your daily consumption of healthy and unhealthy food items. You can gradually decrease junk food intake and increase the number of healthy and nutritious items in your daily diet. Let’s check a few important points which should be considered for healthy eating habits and can come as a handy guide for your diet plan.
Never Skip Breakfast
You have heard that before, but haven’t really thought seriously about applying it to your busy schedule and you keep on missing breakfast at times, maybe because you are getting late for office or have a meeting scheduled. Remember, breakfast is breaking the nightlong fast and if you forego it, you extend the fast which can impact your metabolism. You should have your breakfast within two hours of getting up, else chances are that you’ll eat more during lunch which can be a factor for the bulging belly and increase in weight. Moreover, having breakfast has many benefits like reduced stress levels, improved memory, lowers the risk of diabetes, improves metabolism, keeps your heart healthy, maintains your weight and boosts energy for the entire day.
Home Cooked Food
There is no alternative to the goodness of a home-cooked meal - all the ingredients are handpicked by you, prepared in a hygienic environment and has the most important nutrient called love. When you eat a home-cooked meal, you tend to take a balanced diet which has less salt, sugar and spice as compared to a meal in a restaurant or takeaway. The home-cooked meal gives you the satisfaction which you can never imagine in outside food as there are feelings of love and care by your loved ones embedded in it. You should try to eat home-cooked food at least five times a week and feel the difference in your energy and health.
No Distractions While Eating
Have you ever noticed that your concentration levels while working may vary depending upon the nearby distractions? While a peaceful environment boosts your productivity, a noisy and cluttered atmosphere makes it difficult for you to work. The same logic applies while you are having your meals, hence it’s imperative to sit in a clean and peaceful place with a calm state of mind while eating. Try to refrain from television, mobile or any other activities and enjoy and indulge in your food. Also, don’t eat while talking, standing or walking as it’s not the right way to eat and the food particles can get choked in your food and windpipe.
Goodbye to Excess Fast Food and Aerated Beverages
Fast food and aerated beverages are the biggest enemies of healthy eating habits. You need to ditch the craving for both of them as fast foods can be unhygienic and have harmful trans-fats, while carbonated drinks have high sugar contents which can lead to diabetes, obesity and dental problems. Also, aerated drinks can cause bloating and digestion related problems. Instead of the carbonated drinks, you can drink healthier options like lemonade, buttermilk, lassi or fresh juice. If you want to indulge in these, then remember to have them in moderation.
Count Your Salt and Sugar
Excess consumption of salt increases your body’s capacity to hold on water and this extra water is responsible for high blood pressure. High blood pressure increases the strain on your brain, heart, kidneys and arteries, which can result in heart attack, dementia and kidney disease. Try to limit your salt intake under 6 gms per day. Similarly, Excess sugar can lead to diabetes, weight gain and increased risk of heart-related problems. Moreover, excess sugar affects the arteries of the entire body by causing inflammation in the walls of the arteries and making them grow thicker and stiffer. By reducing your salt and sugar intake, you can lower your blood pressure and stay away from many diseases.
Chew the Food Properly
Have you seen a buffalo or cow chew their food? They do it for a minimum of 50 – 60 times so that they can digest it easily. If you eat your food in a hurry, then you need to pay close attention to this habit and ensure that you chew your food around 30 – 40 times before swallowing it down. The better chewed your food is, the easier it becomes to get digested by your digestive system.
If the food you are eating is a dry one and you are having difficulty swallowing it, then sip water or other drinks, roll the broken food in your mouth and then you can easily swallow it. This process activates the saliva in your mouth, which is helpful in the digestive process. Remember, no matter how healthy you eat; but if the food is not digested properly, then instead of benefitting it will create several digestion related problems like acidity, gastric problems, depression and headache etc.
Take Enough Proteins
Protein is an essential element in the human body and is responsible for building and repairing tissues in the body. Your hair and nails are mostly made of protein, so to have shiny hair proper intake of protein is important. Also, various enzymes, hormones and other chemicals in the body are made of protein. The muscles, bones, skin, blood and cartilage etc. have protein as one of the important building blocks. Spinach, broccoli, lentils, soybeans, asparagus, eggs, paneer and pulses have ample protein to fulfil your daily requirement of protein.
Boost Your Digestion
All work and no play often leads to digestion problems as we remain glued to our desks and not taking a walk after meals or not indulging in any physical activity. Undigested food will defeat the purpose of eating healthy food as your body will not be able to juice out the nutrients from the food. If possible, take a 10 min stroll after your meals or you can sit in Vajrasana (adamantine pose) for 5 – 10 minutes after having your food to boost the digestion process.
Vajrasana is a yogic posture and it helps to increase the blood circulation in lower abdomen thus improving the digestive process. Consuming probiotic foods help in aiding digestion as they have good bacteria which fight with the bad bacteria in your gut.
Healthy Foods You Must Include in Your Diet
Now we know about the healthy eating habits one must adopt for a healthy body, mind and soul, let’s see what are the healthy foods you should include in your diet to have a balanced meal every day. Also, foods of different colours and varieties should be tried so that your body gets all the essential vitamins, nutrients, fats and proteins etc. which are important for the proper functioning of the machinery and to boost the immune system as well.
Fruits are not meant only for salads but should be taken before meals as an essential part of your diet. Including fruits like apple, avocado, banana, grapes, citrus fruits like orange and lime etc in your daily dose of a healthy meal has many health benefits as they are rich in potassium, vitamin C, dietary fibre and folic acid and are naturally low in calories, fat and sodium and have zero cholesterol.
Regular consumption of fruits maintains a healthy blood pressure; reduces cholesterol levels thus reducing the risk of heart disease. Fibre helps in bowel function thus reduces constipation problem, vitamin C is important for the growth and repair of tissues in the body, thus helps in faster healing of wounds and folic acid helps in the formation of red blood cells.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Green leafy veggies should be a part of your diet as they are a rich source of iron, calcium, proteins and fibre. Try to induce 5 – 6 different types of leafy veggies like spinach, lettuce, cabbage etc in your plate for different meals in a week.
Different Grains, Cereals and Legumes
Grains such as wheat, rice, oats, barley, rye, quinoa, millet and corn can be eaten whole after being cooked, can be eaten in form of cereal foods like bread, pasta etc and ready to made breakfast cereals are also available. Grains provide protein, fibre, carbohydrates/starch (energy) and many vitamins to the body. Similarly, legumes are cheap source of protein and are also high in iron, calcium, B-group vitamins, zinc, phosphorus and magnesium.
Dairy and Poultry
Dairy items as milk, paneer, cheese, curd, butter etc. are a good source of calcium, vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin B12, protein, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium etc. and hence a nutrient-rich edible option. Similarly, eating egg and chicken has its own health benefits as eggs are a good source of protein and chicken is nutritious and delicious, while providing benefits of protein and amino acids.
A Healthy Mind is Linked to a Healthy Body
There is an old saying that a healthy mind stays in a healthy body. A person who keeps his diet healthy today will be able to enjoy tomorrow because today's diet will keep his mind and body active even during old age. And in today's world when there is a lot of pollution everywhere, hence keeping ourselves healthy should be our top priority. Many people know about it but they do not tend to follow a proper diet plan but it's never too late. You can start a proper diet plan any time soon and make your tomorrow better.